Oliver Cotte

Narrative times and spaces in
Peter Tscherkassky’s films

PRESENTATION: Saturday 26.5., 12:00 @ MuseumsQuartier – Raum D/quartier21

Peter Tscherkassky uses past rolls of film(s) to make today’s shorts. This work on memory and rewriting is twisted by his unique narrative technique. Whatever we work on literature, music, film, or any art dealing with time (we don’t include most of fine art forms), we follow a temporal line starting at the beginning and ending at the very last word, note or image. The story is all about the way the internal components are put together, in what order, and how the rhythm is managed. Time makes a story possible.

Peter Tscherkassky generally follows a narrative track: his films have a beginning and an ending. The original material he employs, made with film stocks, shots, are taken from narrative films. Apart from the idea to make some new kinds of images, all the idea of his process is to rebuild a new narration from these shots.

The obligation to use only 2 seconds long shots, the ability to blend several film instants into one (and so to propose multi-story times merged into one single frame, the cycles, the loops, the back and fastforward, the temporary suspension of time, the repetition of crucial moments, the use of the split screens that announce parts of the next shot to come that breaks the classical surprise of the usual editing process, and so on… are few of the process Peter Tscherkassky employs to rebuild a narration by breaking out the traditional one way timeline of classical cinema.


Animation historian; scriptwriter; illustrator; writer; director.

Born in France. Studies of classical dance, music and fine-arts. He worked for feature films and commercials for 15 years, then teaches in several schools in France and in the world, including at Les Gobelins, Esra, and Penninghen.
He was one of the pionniers of digital image for cinema during the 90′ and worked for the films of Wim Wenders, Roman Polanski, Costa Gavras, Leos Carax, etc.
He directed shorts films, mostly mixing animation and live action. He has written more than 10 books on animation, including a worldwide encyclopedia (100 ans de cinéma d’animation), technical books, a book about the backstage of Oscar animation winners (secrets of Oscar-winning animation), and monographs (on Georges Schwizgebel, David Ehrlich) and so. He collaborates to film and animation festivals around the world. He’s currently finishing an encyclopedia dedicated on the techniques of animation. He received the Award for Special Contribution to Animation Research, at Animafest 2012.

More on: www.olivier-cotte.com